This archaic language sets the scene of the Victorian age, it is more typically 19th Century. It also makes the passage seem more descriptive because of the wider variety of vocabulary. Elizabeth Gaskell overcomes the formality created by the use of archaic language slightly by using regional dialect. For example wee lassie. This regional dialect gives the story an identity and makes it sound more homely. It also makes the story seem more realistic as it is set in Yorkshire and requires the suitable language for it. Frank OConnor uses much more modern language, however there is still the occasional word that is slightly old fashioned.
For example mere and fellows. These words are relevant because they remind us that the story is not set in completely modern times, it was still a fairly long time ago. The language in My Oedipus Complex seems less formal because it is more modern, however the formality of Larrys thoughts are a source of humour to the reader. For example Life without my early-morning conferences was unthinkable. This formality is humorous because Larry is only five years old and words such as conference and unthinkable would not be in his vocabulary.
Also the formality of Larrys thoughts contrast strongly with the formality of the story in general putting more emphasis on this humour. The endings of the stories are very different because one is a tragedy and one has a happy ending. For example in The Half Brothers William asks God for forgiveness because he feels so guilty about bullying Gregory when he turned out to be a hero in the end. Whereas in My Oedipus Complex Larry and his father forgive each other and Larrys father goes out of his way to buy Larry a really nice model railway.
This contrast in the ends of the stories shows that a situation can go either way depending on the characters involved. The endings are the most obvious difference in the stories because they define the whole story as either a tragedy or a comedy. The endings make the reader react in different ways. For example the ending of The Half Brothers makes the reader think, because of its regretful conclusion whereas the ending of My Oedipus Complex doesnt give the reader a lot to ponder on as it is a simple happy ending. This makes the stories suitable for different types of reader.
If they want a light-hearted book My Oedipus Complex is more suitable but if they want a book that teaches them a lesson then they should choose The Half Brothers. Overall I preferred My Oedipus Complex to The Half Brothers. This is because it is set more recently and the language is easier to understand, I found it easier to relate to. Also it was humorous. The Half Brothers also had good points such as it made me think and gave me a greater understanding of Victorian language. The Half Brothers is a more educational story whereas My Oedipus Complex is light reading.